Chocolate Celebrations and a Week of Whisky

Chocolate Celebrations and a Week of Whisky

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A cold winter day, calls for a hot chocolate, or even better, a chocolate festival! Add a wee dram or two and the coming weeks on the North-West Coast provide you with several opportunities to spoil your sweet tooth and sample some of the state’s top whiskies.

The House of Anvers at Latrobe. Since 2004, Anvers' Igor van Gerwen’s love of the sweet stuff has taken over the whole town for the mid-winter immersive Chocolate Winterfest. Photo: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Chocolate Winterfest

For a wickedly delicious festival celebrating all things chocolate make your way to Latrobe, just a 10-minute drive from Devonport, on August 12, from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Latrobe is the home of the House of Anvers, the chocolate factory and cafe that is the brainchild of Belgian chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen. Since 2004 this modern-day Willy Wonka’s love of the sweet stuff has taken over the whole town for this mid-winter immersive chocolate experience. As well as sampling all forms of chocolate there are a host of fun activities to take part in at venues all around Latrobe.

House of Anvers, at 9025 Bass Hwy, Latrobe, is hosting several events during the festival, including a Chocolate High Tea for the ultimate chocolate lovers. Indulge in a chocolate-infused selection of mouth-watering chocolate cakes, tarts, and petit fours accompanied by live entertainment. For those who take their love of chocolate even more seriously, be sure to join Igor himself for a three-hour Chocolate Appreciation Master Class, at 9.30am or 1.30pm. Discover the art of tasting delectable delights as well as making a chocolate sculpture to take home. With limited spots available bookings are essential, call 6426 2958.

The House of Anvers contains a real chocolate taste sensation. Photo: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

If you have any room left let budding chefs indulge you at Brunch O'Choc, from 10.30am at Latrobe Bowls Club, Victor St. Join Drysdale students in a relaxed brunch of multi-course culinary delights with chocolate as their inspiration.  There is limited seating and bookings are essential via Eventbrite. For a winning combination check out The Pleasure on the Palate at BWS, 55-57 Gilbert St, from 1-3pm. Join wine presenter Richard Byrne as he provides you with an insight Into pairing your favourite chocolate with the right wine to enhance your dining experience.

Chocolate Winterfest is Latrobe's wickedly delicious festival celebrating all things chocolate. Photo: Chris Crerar

There will be a range of other decadent treats around Latrobe – head to Something4Everyone, 146 Gilbert St, for hot fudge lamingtons, grab a Choc Chilli Snag at Latrobe Post Office Reserve, 113-115 Gilbert St, and the ultimate destination is Chocolate Corner in the Latrobe Memorial Hall, 168 Gilbert St. Here you can treat yourself to the delights of the House of Anvers, Gourlays Sweet Shop, Quincessential, Modo Mio Naked Brownies, Tasmanian Licorice Company, Fudge Frenzy, Wild Island Tastes, Rhuby Delights, Avafew Crepes and Pancakes, The Chuck Wagon, Coffee Buzz, Royal Dutch Poffertjes, Tassie Sweet and Savoury Stix, Chocolate Showbags,and Whip ‘n Shake Ice Creams with a special feature of Dark Side of the Brew participants Spreyton Cider Co, Taverner’s Boutique Brewery and Frank’s Cider.

Igor van Gerwen, Anvers' master chocolate maker and the creator of Chocolate Winterfest. Photo: Chris Crerar

If you like to get a bit competitive you can test yourself at the Chocolate Chilli Sundae Eating Competition in the Thai Imperial Restaurant within the Australian Axemans Hall of Fame, Bells Parade, at 2.30pm.  For a fun team challenge, Chocolate Mousse Mayhem sees teams of two, blindfolded, covered with waterproof ponchos, feeding each other delectable chocolate mousse to win a $100 chocolate hamper each. Held in front of the Latrobe Council office, 170 Gilbert St, there will be heats at 11am, 11.30am, noon, 12.30pm, 1pm and 1.30pm with the final at 2pm. Cost is $5 per team. Put your brain to work in the Chocolate Chess Competition at the Latrobe Council Chambers, 170 Gilbert St.

With so much to see, do and taste download the full Chocolate Winterfest program.

Tasmanian Whisky Week

Held from Monday, August 13 to Sunday, August 19, Tasmanian Whisky Week will see industry events held across the state’s distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels.

Whisky Tasmania Pty Ltd established in 1997 is located on the north west coast of Tasmania and trades as Hellyers Road Distillery.  Photo: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Throughout the week distilleries will be opening their doors to host behind-the-scenes tours to meet the distillers in person, provide access to unreleased whiskies, and offer dining opportunities where distilleries will recount the successes, challenges and events that have shaped who they are today. Whisky Week promises to be a feast of memorable Tasmanian whisky events that will stay with you long after the final dram. For more information about visit Tas Whisky Week.

Festivale, one of Tasmania's premier summer events, is a three day celebration held annually in February. Festivale is designed to showcase the very best of Tasmanian food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment. Staged in Launceston's historic and picturesque City Park the ambiance of the outdoor event is unique. Photo: Rob Burnett

On the North-West Coast, head to award-winning Hellyers Road Distillery, at 153 Old Surrey Rd, Havenview, for tastings and tours, lunch in the café and to stock up on products. During Whisky Week they have a special offer running on their Whisky Walk Distillery Tour. Go behind the scenes and tour the working distillery to see how they make one of the finest single malt whiskies in the world. Smell the ingredients, see the latest batch distilling, visit the bond store filled with American oak barrels and understand everything there is to know about the range of Hellyers Road products and Henry Hellyer himself – the man behind the name. You’ll also have the opportunity to pour and wax seal your very own bottle of Hellyers Road, complete with a signed Certificate of Authenticity. The guided tour takes between 30 to 40 minutes. Children may accompany adults.

During Whisky Week Hellyers Road Distillery has a special offer running on their Whisky Walk Distillery Tour. Go behind the scenes and tour the working distillery to see how they make one of the finest single malt whiskies in the world. Photo:  Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

The Hellyers Road Visitor Centre is the perfect place to shop and sample some of their exceptional whisky products. They offer tastings of the Hellyers Road Single Malt range, Southern Lights Vodka and the Whisky Cream range. You can purchase from the full range of Hellyers Road products, including some special limited release bottles at the Cellar Door. The Visitor Centre is open seven days a week, 10am‒4.30pm, closed public holidays. For more information call 03 6433 0439, email or visit the website at Hellyers Road Distillery.

Spirit Bar, in Burnie, boasts an array of Tasmanian whisky, spirits, beers, wine and food.

For a Tasmanian whisky experience head to Spirit Bar Tasmania,  14 Cattley St, Burnie, on Saturday August 18. The evening will feature whiskies from Overeem, Lark, Hellyers Road, Belgrove, Mackey and Sullivan’s Cove. Sample a range of whiskies of Tasmania’s best distilleries through Spirit Bar’s expression board experience. From 6pm–10pm. For more information or to book go to Spirit Bar's Facebook page, call 0427 492 625 or visit Spirit Bar Tasmania.

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